William Shakespeare (1546-1616) was born in Stratford-on-Avon, the son of a respected husbandman and educated at a free grammar school. He married Anne Hathaway in 1582 and a few years later moved to London where he probably tarted work in one of the two theatres. Soon he was writing as well as acting, his name appeanng m the cast-lists until 1603. His plays were very popular at the time and it is said that he wrote “The Merry Wives of Windsor” at the request of Queen Elizabeth I. Shakespeare became wealthy from his stagework purchasing New Place, the largest house in Stratford, in 1597; by the time he retired there in 1610 he had built up a considerable estate. He was buried in Stratford Church where one of his few authentic portraits, a monument with a bust, can still be seen.
The jug features some of his best known characters in full-length relief, given here from left to right: Hamlet, Othello, Autolycus (The Winters Tale), Portia (The Merchant of Venice), Macbeth, King Lear (seated), Ophelia (Hamlet), Shylock (Merchant of Venice), Touchstone (As You Like It) Katherine (Taming of the Shrew), Falstaff (Henry IV & Merry Wives). Wntten around the rim is GREAT HEIR OF FAME DEAR SO OF MEMORY; the handle shows the masks of tragedy and comedy With volumes of his plays; more masks and jesters accoutrements are moulded around the base.
William Shakespeare Jug – Royal Doulton Loving Cup
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